October 15, 2020 7:54 AM EDT

Without Tamora Pierce’s Alanna of Trebond paving the way, we might never have gotten to read about such beloved young heroines as George R.R. Martin’s Arya Stark or Sarah J. Maas’s Celaena Sardothien. We first meet Alanna in The Song of the Lioness series as she’s preparing to disguise herself as a boy in order to take her twin brother’s place as a knight in training. So begins a four-book saga replete with magic, love and unforgettable adventure that spans decades in the medieval fantasy world of Tortall. In many ways ahead of its time, Pierce’s fantastical young-adult story doesn’t shy away from addressing issues of feminism, diversity, gender and sexuality, and class politics. —Megan McCluskey

Buy Now: Alanna: The First Adventure on Bookshop | Amazon

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